I have recently come to the conclusion that one of life’s necessities (obviously alongside eating and paying taxes etc) is to always carry a crib sheet! Otherwise you could easily get lost in the acronym-saturated world of abbreviation we have become so accustomed to.
If you have ever used a mobile phone, contributed to Twitter, listened to ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ by Swedish House Mafia, heard of PPI or, indeed, started a new job, then you will know exactly what I’m talking about – is there anyone that doesn’t cover?
The reason that I have noticed this frequent and addictive form of communication is since starting at AD Communications. Now, this is in no way saying that the team here hasn’t been truly warm and welcoming to the newest member of the team – far from it. It is merely an observation that in everyday life we appear to slip into using very colloquial and exclusive language that may well baffle anyone from the ‘outside’.
So my question is: Are we communicating more efficiently, are we moving with the times and framing the new language of the future, or are we just getting downright lazy?
- Twitter – cramming what you want to say into 140 characters isn’t easy, so abbreviated communication is essential. EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION
- Job titles – if you are unfortunate enough to have the role of ‘Director, Head of CEEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa) and Latin America Equity Focus, Institutional Client Group – Fundamental Equity, Corporate & Institutional Banking – Global Markets’, you will undoubtedly feel that an abbreviation would work better for everyone (not least the poor person who had to arrange your business cards!). EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION
- Textese (1) – any communication which makes you consistently spell words incorrectly (‘gud nite’ as a classic example) is debateable! On the one hand it costs more to send multiple messages with words written out in full; on the other, it’s just bad English. For that reason, I have to go with LAZY COMMUNICATION (and I for one hope this is not shaping the written language of the future!)
- Textese (2) – text abbreviations such as ‘CUL8R’ or ‘LMFAO’, again, are great for keeping text messages succinct (and cheaper) but can get very confusing – see headline of this blog! Personally, I think this is a mix of EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION and LAZY COMMUNICATION – the jury is still out on this one!
- Abbreviations – it is obviously far easier to say ‘DPI’ than ‘Dots Per Inch’ or ‘CMYK’ than ‘Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black’ so in this instance it is EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION, however, it is only efficient if those you are saying it to understand the context. Printers beware if you’re baffling prospective customers with this kind of jargon!
As well as traditional dictionaries we are now seeing an increase in speciality versions for texting or, so called ‘Urban’ dictionaries. But my favourite will always be the Geordie dictionary which helps to translate the weird and wonderful phrases of my native North East for anyone ‘ootside’ Newcastle.